spot_img
spot_img
spot_img
spot_img
spot_img
spot_img
spot_img
spot_img
spot_img

Bucket List Black Belt

By Zane Davis

When people hear the word “Karate”, it usually elicits memories of David Carradine in the 1970’s television series or movies starring Jackie Chan or Bruce Lee.  However, karate is just one discipline in a vast list of varying types of martial arts, including Tae Kwon Do, Tang Soo Do, Hapkido, Jiu Jitsu and Judo to name a few.  
In addition to the misconception regarding what martial arts are, there are just as many stereotypes relative to those people that study the martial arts.  For example, someone’s age, nationality or even their personality, yet there is not a better example to dispute this belief than that of Weiser resident, John Schmitz.  John Schmitz, at 65 years of age, not only dispelled this myth, but crushed it by recently reaching the level of black belt in October of 2015.  
John is the owner of John’s Auto Body in Weiser, Idaho, and has been in business for 26 years.  Mr. Schmitz is an imposing figure when you first meet him, but it takes mere minutes to realize his sincerity, humility and Christian faith.  
John served in the military in the early 70’s as an Army Airborne Ranger and has been involved in the realm of martial arts his entire adult life.  John has been married for 35 years and has four children, 16 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren. While raising his children and then later helping to raise some of his grandchildren, life and family obligations caused a break in his training.  However, five years ago he was informed that he had high blood pressure.  In an effort to get more exercise and improve his health he sought out Master Luis Negrete, owner of Traditions Martial Art Studio, to resume his training.  Typically, a 65 year old man does not achieve the level of black belt, but John says that the martial arts have “been a lifetime study.  There is no sense in getting out of it.”  Additionally, he says, “[achieving the level of black belt] was a personal goal.  A bucket list item.”
There is an extensive process to reach the level of black belt and every level focuses on what Mr. Schmitz refers to as “The 7 Tenets of Martial Arts”.  These tenets are: Integrity, Concentration, Perseverance, Respect and Obedience, Self-Control, Humility, and Indomitable Spirit.  All students of martial arts begin at the level of white belt, which is a 0. When the student has mastered various techniques or “forms”, which are a series orchestrated techniques, similar to a choreographed dance, then they can test and advance to the next level.  The level of black belt is a level 10, so the journey to black belt can be extensive.  The color of the various belts between white and black and their significance varies depending on the style and the individual master running the dojo, or facility where martial arts are practiced.  John says “You advance by knowing techniques, punches and kicks.”  He adds, “It’s about mindset”, as well.  John is quick to point out that martial arts is “not about fighting”.  “Defense is ok”, but violence is not the goal.
When John reached the level of black belt, he was awarded not only the advanced belt, but also a certificate of the achievement and a black belt sword.  The sheath of sword John received is engraved with a symbol.  The master of the dojo chooses the symbol for each individual’s sword, and John’s symbol signifies courage.  John can also now train other students and assists Master Negrete at the dojo.  When asked his feelings about Mr. Schmitz’s black belt accomplishment, Negrete said, “Age did not stop him.  He is very dedicated and driven.”  John really enjoys working with the younger kids and see their improvement.  He is also “likes to see women get involved for the defensive aspect” of martial arts.
John used to believe that acquiring a black belt was the ultimate goal, but has since learned that once you become a black belt, then there are an additional ten degrees of black belt.  John has reassessed his personal goals since he has checked off one bucket list item, and has now set a goal of being a 3rd degree black belt by the age of 70.  Given Mr. Schmitz’s faith, determination, and attitude, he will definitely achieve this new goal.

Related Articles

Payette Apple B...

0
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q...

100 People Who ...

0
By Michelle Estes On Monday, Ma...

Malay Announced...

0
Long time resident Joe Malay has b...

Four Weiser You...

0
This week the Weiser Masonic Lodge...

State of Idaho ...

0
Results Counties Reporting Reports...

Stay Connected

11,553FansLike
spot_img
spot_img
spot_img
spot_img
spot_img
spot_img
spot_img
spot_img
spot_img
spot_img
spot_img
spot_img
spot_img
spot_img
spot_img
spot_img
spot_img
spot_img
spot_img
spot_img